We all have a certain perspective of other people, and for some reason we always believe that other’s have it easier than us, and of course some people might but that is just how life is. For me as a teenager a lot of people would think I had it easy because well, I was just doing my schooling how hard could life be? Little did people know how easily bullying can mentally dismantle a person.
When I was around 11 years old was when I first started to cut myself, to be completely honest I did not even know what I was doing – it just felt like my pain was diminishing, I felt stronger because I didn’t mind being cut. And it made me think away from all the bullying I was undergoing at school. I came from a conservative and highly dysfunctional family so I couldn’t communicate this pain with anyone, not the school authorities nor my parents or sisters. So I decided to suffer in silence rather than bringing up childish nonsense between fights at home. Years passed by and I travelled from Laos to Mexico to India. In Mexico I went through more bullying, criticizing my skin tone, my heights, my hair and what not. I couldn’t bare it, but I made friends who helped me get through the tough times. That is until I went for a summer vacation to India where I was molested (I was 12 by the way) it left a scar, it was a secret I wouldn’t tell anyone- I felt dirty- but I had one thing in brain “I won’t be living here anyway” and my worries withered away, the pain however, did not, I was too scared to let anyone even touch me. That was till I changed schools and met with what was paradise when I went back to Mexico. For the first time in my life cutting did not attract me, I was happy, people around me were amazing, they gave me attention and helped me get over the hardest times in my life. It felt right, I could hug people again and I stopped feeling dirty I was in grade 9 and other than family drama all was going well until I overheard a little conversation at home “So we are shifting?” “Let’s let her complete her grade 10?” “No, this is necessary.” I knew what this meant- I was going back to India and doom fell upon me, I started taking pills, and cutting and drinking bleach and anything I could find. If I had to go- I would rather die. No one in my family knew I was self harming, but everyone knew I didn’t want to go so I was told it would be a 6 months thing.
6 months became a year, and then another. Throughout my time in India I only felt worthless and betrayed. I was called a slut, a whore and a dumb bitch. I wasn’t given importance at school and my parents were called for the stupidest little things. All my life I had been an A* student with 0 complaints and my life was officially falling apart. I believed that my dream to study at Yale would vanquish if I continued in this place, I was lost of all hope. I wanted to die. I stood in front of cars- and would get saved. Cut. I punched myself. I took pills. Went drunk to school. I did everything and anything that would make the pain and thoughts go away. I started talking to my school counselor and teachers who were the only people to ever support me. I am glad I took help they told me I should talk to my parents and focus on school. They gave me the hope I needed. Told me to keep writing my thoughts (I have been writing since grade 6) I decided I wouldn’t back down so quickly. I begged my parents to take me out and to my surprise it worked. Mid my grade 12 I went to Tanzania. It was a gamble since I would have to do grade 11 again due to system changes, but I did it. It was the best decision I ever made.
I stopped cutting in Tanzania, got over all my problems. It took me 7 years to stop self-harm completely but I got there. I am still there. I don’t cut anymore. Tanzania was my run away, people told me I was running away, toxic friends said it would destroy me. I knew better, Tanzania changed me. Gave me friends and the life I wanted. Everything was great until my father passed away… I hadn’t started my Grade 12 and I knew what it meant- I would have to go back to India.
Life was shattering down. But this time I wouldn’t let it destroy me. I knew I needed to be stronger. I took action, called my school and figured something out. Called my siblings in India and told them we would be coming back. It was painful, I couldn’t cry. I took responsibility. But I was stronger than ever. My life has taught me that anything can happen at any time, you always need a support system, sometimes it was friends, mentors, and now my family.
Don’t tell yourself you will be okay. Consult someone. Talk it out! Live your life to the fullest and achieve your dreams. Life is a rollercoaster for all of us, but we can get through it. I did.
My life is not perfect right now, I still have problems and things I haven’t figured out. I do get angry and want to go down the same road. But I calm myself, talk to someone and write the pain down. I have better things to do now- I have Catching Heights to look after, a book to write, and people to influence.
Take charge of life and you will go far. I am trying to and hope I do.